Our novels: Sue Featherstone and Susan Pape



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A Forsaken Friend

A Forsaken Friend

The FRIENDS trilogy continues in this heart-warming and hilarious hoot as two best friends navigate men, careers and rock bottom in this brilliant sequel to A Falling Friend.

Published by Lakewater Press.

Available to buy on Amazon.

About the book:

No-one said friendship was easy.

Things can’t get much worse for Teri Meyer. If losing her job at the university and the regular allowance from her dad’s factory isn’t bad enough, now her ex-best friend has gone and stolen her ex-husband!

Well, to hell with them all. A few weeks in the countryside at her brother’s smallholding should do the trick – and the gorgeous and god-like neighbour might help. Continue reading

Review: Rosebrook Chronicles (The Hidden Stories) from Helen J Christmas reminds us why the past needs to remain another country


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One of my pet hates is people who complain things were better in the old days.

Because they weren’t.

When I was a child Ian Brady and Myra Hindley were abducting, abusing and murdering children.

Spare the rod and spoil the child was still a widely held belief and, though I was incredibly lucky to have a safe and secure home life, lots of other kids didn’t.

And Rosebrook Chronicles (The Hidden Stories), a tense psychological series of Continue reading

Review: How ‘normal’ is normal? That’s the question for Sally Rooney’s Normal People

I was reluctant to add to the praise of this author – or like her book. I mean Sally Rooney has already had most of the plaudits that can be thrown at a young debut writer: shortlisted for a string of book awards, and winner of others including the Costa Novel of the Year, and long listed for the Man Booker Prize as well as the Women’s Prize for Fiction.

Sally Rooney

Sally Rooney

She’s published by Faber & Faber who can afford to throw money at her marketing and promotion. She’s young and she comes from County Mayo so she ticks boxes (age and un-London).

And in the book she’s writing something that would seem to me to be a coming of age story featuring two unlikely teenagers.

She uses the present tense. And she doesn’t use quotation marks.

Really? How can I, riven as I am with (ahem) preconceived ideas and resentment, like this author and this book?

Childishly, I thought: Oh, come on.

Continue reading

Review: The secrets of How Not to Write Female Characters from Lucy V. Hay


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Forget stereotypes and box ticking: from Kick-ass Hotties to Mom Warriors, tarts with hearts and Crying WAGS – it’s all about the writing.

Or, as Lucy V. Hay puts it in her punchy, concise e-book guide How Not to Write Female Characters, it’s about GOOD WRITING.

Hay, script editor, novelist and owner of the UK’s top screenwriting blog www.bang2write.com, knows what she’s talking about.

She’s spent the last 15 years reading the slush pile and has learned to spot the patterns, pitfalls and general mistakes writers make when writing female characters – and why. Continue reading

Review: Ungentlemanly Warfare – gripping page-turning thriller from Howard Linskey


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There may be better places to read a tale of derring-do in war torn France, but the Ille de Oleron, in the heart of what was once the occupied zone, takes some beating.

As the OH and I drove through the Frenchcountryside or meandered through sleepy towns and villages, it was easy to picture ourselves in the world depicted in Howard Linskey’s World War Two thriller Ungentlemanly Warfare, where Captain Harry Walsh, has been tasked with assassinating the scientific genius behind the ME 163, a miracle jet fighter that could destroy all chance of allied victory in Europe. Continue reading

Review: Dead Inside marks a twisty crime thriller debut from Noelle Holten


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There’s no point beating about the bush – it was with some trepidation I agreed to read and review Dead Inside, from debut novelist Noelle Holten.

Because, although I’ve never met Noelle – and probably wouldn’t recognise her if we tripped over each other in the street – I do know her through membership of various social media readers groups, where lots of other members have been raving about the book, the first in a new crime thriller series.

So, does Dead Inside live up to the advance billing?

It sure does: the plot is twisty and thought-provoking and Noelle, who was a senior probation office for 18 years, provides real insights into the working partnership between the police and probation services. Continue reading

Review: Author Jo Fenton’s psychological thriller The Brotherhood opens the lid on life within a cult


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It’s the stuff of nightmares – or mine, at least. A bullying ex-boyfriend, a totalitarian religious sect, and a remote abbey that’s more like a concentration camp than a haven. The chills are coming quick and fast.

Add an abusive, albeit charismatic, cult leader and a team of violent wardens, who enforce the leader’s rules with brutal efficiency, and Jo Fenton’s psychological thriller The Brotherhood is one hundred per cent a rollercoaster.

At first, Melissa, who falls back on her faith after the sudden death of her parents, is captivated by Dominic, a minister, who’s supporting her through her bereavement. Continue reading

Review: Cultivating a Fuji takes a thought-provoking look at the perils of social anxiety


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Most workplaces have someone like Martin – competent, capable, reliable but also just a little bit of a ‘weirdo’ who never joins in with the other guys.

Most people – if they give it a thought – assume the Martins of this world choose their solitary existence.

But what if Martin, the unassuming hero of Cultivating a Fuji, isn’t simply shy and retiring? What if hiding his feelings is the only way he knows to survive?

Author Miriam Drori has written a compelling, heart-warming and thought-provoking UpLit exploration of loneliness and social anxiety. Continue reading

Review: A lucid and compelling YA supernatural thriller from Kristy Fairlamb



Very occasionally, I’m grateful I can’t roll back the years and become a young adult again.

Because, if so, I’d have been weeping fit to burst at the end of Kristy Fairlamb’s, YA supernatural thriller Lucid.

Slightly older me managed a sigh of disappointment because – without giving the game away – I’d really, really have liked things to turn out differently.

Still – there’s hope. This is the first in a two-part series that makes a lovely addition to the YA catalogue of Queensland-based indie publisher Lakewater Press and their first by an Australian author too. Continue reading